[lg policy] Uighurs Condemn China Forcing Muslims to Eat Pork During Ramadan

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Mon May 20 11:44:06 EDT 2019

Uighurs Condemn China Forcing Muslims to Eat Pork During Ramadan1,141
[image: Two ethnic Uighur women pass Chinese paramilitary policemen
standing guard outside the Grand Bazaar in the Uighur district of the city
of Urumqi in China's Xinjiang region on July 14, 2009. A mosque was closed
and many businesses were shuttered a day after police shot dead two Muslim
Uighurs, as …]PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty ImagesEDWIN MORA19 May 20191499
A Chinese Communist Party (CCP) official conceded this week that Beijing
had imposed draconian restrictions on Ramadan practices in Muslim-majority
Xinjiang, denying reports of a blanket ban on activities during the holy

Dolkun Isa, the exiled head of the Germany-based World Uighur Congress,
told Voice of America (VOA
that the CCP has intensified efforts to stifle Ramadan this year, urging
Muslims to eat pork in violation of Islamic rules, imposing fasting
restrictions, banning headscarves, prohibiting prayer, and other hurdles to
the holy month.

His revelation came on Thursday, the same day that Radio Free Asia (RFA
citing a new report
the U.S.-based Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP), reported that Beijing is
implementing a policy of “linguistic imperialism” to marginalize the ethnic
group’s language with the purpose of eradicating their “ethnic identity.”

China has long oppressed its Uighur (or Uyghur) minority with the intent of
erasing their religious and ethnic identity by coercing them into pledging
loyalty to the communist party.

VOA learned from Isa “that Uighurs who are working in the public sector and
students are asked to appear daily at canteens during lunch or they will be
accused of secretly fasting and hiding ‘extremist’ tendencies.”

He revealed that Beijing mandates that some Uighur public workers ignore
going as far as ordering the predominantly Muslim ethnic group to consume
pork during the holy month, a practice forbidden by Islam.

“In some cases, Uighur employees are forced to take home pork and ordered
to share with their families,” Isa told VOA. “The restrictions on Ramadan
have been in place every year since 2016, but they are especially hard this

Xinjiang, China’s largest province, is home to the highest concentration of
the country’s Muslim minority — mainly Uighurs, but also Kazakhs and
Kyrgyz, among others.

“In their attack on Uyghur culture and identity, Chinese officials have
portrayed the Uyghur language as ‘incompatible with modernity’ and are
removing its relevance from the education system and public life,” RFA
pointed out, citing the UHRP report.
In other words, the Chinese Communist Party is moving the ban the Uighur
language altogether.

UHRP reported:

Following a pattern of broader development policy that has promoted the
adoption of [majority] Han [Chinese] civilization as central to
modernization, China has moved to diminish the status of the Uyghur
language in society.

“The CCP is making every effort to erase our culture,” Abduweli Ayup, a
Uighur scholar and linguist mentioned in the UHRP report, declared.

Isa acknowledged that language is the most essential aspect of an
individual’s ethnic identity.

He told RFA:

China is doing everything in its power to erase the Uyghur
language—beginning in kindergarten—from every aspect of life, which is in
violation of the Regional Ethnic Autonomy Law, the constitution and the
country’s international obligations.

The Uyghur language is one of the most ancient Turkic languages and has
been used to make significant contributions to human civilization.

If the Uyghur language is erased, an inalienable part of human civilization
will be lost. Therefore, it is not only the duty of Uyghurs to save and
preserve the Uyghur language, but also the duty of the international

Since 2017, Beijing has intensified its Muslim crackdown, destroying their
worshipping sites and forcing them into “concentration camps” that the
Chinese government claims are “vocational” centers aimed at combating
religious extremisms, ethnic separatism, and violent terrorism.

Zhao Lijian, the deputy chief of the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan, denied
that China is in any way preventing all Muslims from observing Ramadan,
noting that Beijing has only imposed some restrictions.

“Muslims are free to fast in Xinjiang,” he wrote on Twitter
May 6.

“Restrictions are with Communist Party members, who are atheists;
government officials, who shall discharge their duties; students who are
with compulsory education & hard learning tasks,” Lijian added.

VOA noted:

Chinese officials do not disclose how many people fall under those
[communist member] categories. But the groups would include as many as two
million Uighurs who are believed to be undergoing compulsory education in
prison camps in Xinjiang.

Despite the Chinese diplomat’s assertion that Beijing is not completely
blocking Muslim religious practices Ramadan, human rights activists, and
Uighur advocacy groups have sounded the alarm about the CCP’s expansion of
repressive tactics against thousands of Uighurs during the holy month.

U.S. officials believe China has sent up to three million
its Muslim minorities, mainly Uighurs, to extrajudicial “concentration
camps” also dubbed “re-education” or “mind-transformation” centers.

At the facilities, the Muslim detainees and some Uighur Christian converts,
are subjected to systemic torture, disappearances, executions, and
arbitrary detentions in an effort to coerce them to denounce their religion
in favor of the communist party.

VOA reported:

The [Chinese] government’s April 2017 regulations to “prevent extremism”
drew international outcry, with critics saying they violated basic human
rights and religious freedom.

According to the state-run newspaper *China Daily*, the regulations forbid
people in the region from wearing full-face coverings and long beards. They
also prohibit them from “choosing names in an abnormal way.”

Most Muslim governments often quick to repudiate alleged mistreatments of
fellow Muslims in the West and Israel, namely as Iran, Saudi Arabia,
Pakistan, and Nigeria, have kept mostly silent
the persecution of coreligionists in China, seemingly concerned about
angering Beijing.

Given that Uighurs share cultural and linguistic similarities with
other Turkic ethnic, Turkey felt compelled to speak out against the
persecution of Islam adherents in China.

To a much lesser extent, some
in Malaysia, and Indonesia
rather than their government as a whole, have also condemned

The 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC
and Pakistan praised
treatment of its fellow Muslims, dealing a blow to the suffering Uighurs.


 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com

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